Hotel for Dogs (review)

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I do confess I was afeared of the potential for a funny-hat montage: it’s the kind of thing you expect from kids’ movie that features just about every kind of cute, ugly, cute-ugly, and funny-looking dog imaginable. But there was none of that here. There was, I concede, a bit with dogs on treadmills, but that is always hilarious, as well as the inevitable three-legged dog to tug at your heartstrings, just in case you’d been skipped over in the heartstring-tugging queue. Yes, this charmingly silly, sincerely sweet movie — based on a young adult novel by Lois Duncan [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.] — isn’t going to appeal much beyond the grade-school set, but parents won’t be too terribly bored; in fact, it feels much more like the classic, gentle family films of the 1970s we grew up with than the slapstick grossouts that pass for kids’ films today. Plus, there’s this: This is the story of a teenage girl (Emma Roberts: Nancy Drew) who is the hero of a story that has nothing to do with being a princess, finding or keeping a boyfriend, or, indeed, doing anything at the instigation or direction of a male. Her little brother (Jake T. Austin: Everyone’s Hero) does help her set up a jury-rigged shelter for street animals in a rundown hotel — the gadgets he invents to help with the dogs’ care are clever and funny — but she is the boss. She’s a far better role model than tweens typically get at the movies these days. (Oh, and really, folks: please spay and neuter your dogs, adopt from shelters instead of paying puppy mills, and support no-kill shelters, mmkay?)

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Sat, Jan 17, 2009 2:07am

ahhhhh, it so cute, do they kick a bunch of homeless people in the face on their way to saving all these animals.

Sat, Jan 17, 2009 11:42am

OK, now I’m seriously considering changing my handle. :p

I was considering seeing this, I’m a sucker for happy dog movies, but perhaps I will wait for the DVD. Can’t be that far off.

Accounting Ninja
Accounting Ninja
Sat, Jan 17, 2009 2:17pm

@ first John: lol, WHAT?!
Are you inplying that people who want to help animals do so by spitting on humans? That’s an illogical conclusion to make.
But even if it WERE true:
Look, I sympathize with anyone who has to sleep out in the cold, but here’s how I see it: humans have a lot more power over their destinies than animals. Even the most unfortunate human has more power than your typical animal. Animals don’t have the mental wherewithall to provide for themselves without us (I’m talking about domesticated animals here, wild ones do just fine. But anyone who think an animal bred for domesticity can hold his own out there is sadly mistaken.)

Sat, Jan 17, 2009 3:38pm

No, I was just pointing out how people find animals without homes all cute and heartwarming. Then on the other hand homeless people are an unpleasant idea we’d rather not think about.

Mon, Jan 19, 2009 1:10pm